Global Graphene Group, and its subsidiary Angstron Energy (AEC) has developed a new graphene/silicon composite anode material (GCA-II-N) which can increase the capacity of Li-Ion batteries while reducing the battery's size and weight. AEC current market focus is on electronic bikes and consumer electronics, but is also working with Tier-1 electric cars and trucks makers.
AEC tells us that by wrapping single-layer graphene (or r-GO) around silicon nanoparticles, the volume expansion/contraction of the Silicon during the battery's charge/discharge cycle can be cushioned by the flexibility and mechanical strength of the graphene. The graphene sheets also form a 3D conductive network which ensures good electrical contacts between the Silicon particles and the current collector.
AEC has already commercialized the material, and the company has a production capacity (at its Dayton, Ohio plant) of 50 tons/per year. AEC is expanding the plant and by 2020 will have a capacity of 1,000 tons/year (in Ohio and also in its Asia-based production site).
AEC says that the new anode material boasts 8X the specific capacity of current graphite anode materials. Coupled with a current cathode material, it can enhance the battery's capacity by 35%, and if coupled with an emerging cathode could increase the capacity by 100%.